1 | Give something useful
It's easy to fall prey to the sale rack or to attractive things that look nice but have no meaningful purpose. Nine times out of ten they end up being thrown away or stashed aside. A little research can go a long way. Go ahead and ask the person what they want or need. If you want to keep the element of surprise, ask their close friends and relatives. Practical gifts may not sound exciting, but they're definitely more thoughtful, less wasteful and will be appreciated more.
Another option is to give a gift card. Compared to cold cash, a gift card of a brand whose products and values you resonate with will hold more meaning and shows that you give it with much thought.
2 | Look for quality
Choose things that are well-made and ideally from brands that align with your values. Consider the product's material and how it was made. Would you use it? Investing on quality ensures that the receiver will get a good use out of them and won't be trashed after a few uses.
Investing in quality means you don't need to replace it as often, less waste and therefore better for the planet. In photo: thick, quality elastic of a fitted bed sheet.
3 | Choose minimal packaging
Look for sellers that use minimal packaging that's reusable or biodegradable. While it's unavoidable at times, it's good to try to minimize plastic whenever we can.